NEW DELHI: Mohammed Shami has been a revelation for India in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup, outclassing the batters with straight seam and impeccable lengths to be the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 23 scalps.
Shami’s latest exploits came in the semifinal against New Zealand, where he took 7-57 to play a crucial hand in the 70-run win for India at the Wankhede Stadium.
“I always look at what the situation is, how the pitch and the ball are behaving.”
“And if the ball is swinging or not, and if the ball is not swinging, I try and bowl stump to stump while trying to land it in a zone where the ball can catch an edge of the batters are driving,” he said to ‘Follow The Blues’ show on Star Sports over his approach with the ball.
Virat Kohli surpassed Sachin Tendulkar’s long-standing tally of 49 ODI centuries by smashing a stunning 117 in the same game and ahead of the final against Australia on Sunday, former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif noted how much respect and admiration the talismanic batter has for legends of the game.
“Look after the 2011 World Cup Virat carried his guru Sachin Tendulkar on his shoulders saying, Sachin’s carried the burden of the nation for 21 years, and it’s now our time to do the same for him.”
“After winning that World Cup, his journey started. And now on that very same ground, he’s broken Sachin’s record in front of Sachin himself, and after breaking the record Virat also acknowledged Sachin and even went down on his knees to pay respects to his hero and the master of the game. This shows the nature and character of Virat Kohli.”
“He’s a big player himself but being a good human and giving due respect to his masters shows how disciplined he is. Also what makes this knock memorable is the stage on which he’s got it. There were conversations that his record in knockouts is not great, but he’s answered everyone by scoring a century, and ensuring that India qualifies for the finals.”
Apart from Kohli’s top form, India have also benefitted from captain Rohit Sharma’s aggressive starts in Power-play, thereby killing the game in the first 10 overs itself. Kaif was left impressed by Rohit’s approach in the tournament.
“Rohit’s gameplan this entire tournament has been to attack the bowlers while targeting to hit a couple of boundaries in the very first over and put the opposition under pressure from the outset. The bowlers usually plan to try and swing the new ball and try to get the batter out while he’s not set-in, but Rohit’s attitude makes him look like he’s set-in even before the first ball is bowled.”
“He knows he is the leader, and he has to set the tone from which the team can come in and follow on. And if you look at the stats, Rohit has hit a boundary in the first over of every game this tournament, helping the team set the tone.”
“He’s also been receiving praise for his performances as the role he’s playing is a tough one to fulfil. He’s scoring 70-100 runs in the power play, and setting the platform for players like Kohli and Iyer, so I am all praises for Rohit,” he concluded. IANS